“Especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words — ‘Look for the helpers’ — and I am always comforted that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” —Fred Rogers

Three months ago, we had a weird idea: What if we tried to match people who needed help while in quarantine with their neighbours who could lend a hand. Within days, more than a THOUSAND of you signed up to be Beacon Buddies.

Thank you so much. You made a difference in your community when we all needed it most.

  • Thank you to each person who raised their hand and said “I can help” when we asked for volunteers.
  • Thank you to those of you who printed out and delivered our “Can I Help?” door cards.
  • Thank you to junior buddies like Adilyn, Sophie, Kate, and dozens more kids.
  • Thank you to every person who shared our posts and spread the word about the program.
  • Thank you to artists Natasha, Brynn, and Erin who contributed to our “No One Is An Island” project.
  • Thank you to our team who fanned out across Nanaimo one weekend to record the “Virtual Nanaimo” videos for those who couldn’t get out.
  • And a very special thank you to the four people who stepped up to take over the matching process after the first month. You’ve asked us to not reveal your identities, and we’ll honour that. Know that you made an enormous difference.

You ALL made a difference:

— For the single mom self-isolating with an 8-month old infant
— For the elderly woman on chemotherapy for cancer treatment
— For the wife, worried her husband’s depression meds couldn’t be refilled
— For the lady experiencing symptoms while caregiving two vulnerable men

All real cases. And there were hundreds more.

COVID-19 is not over, but thanks to everyone’s participation, things have stabilized.

So, as of today, we are closing the Beacon Buddies matching program. (Of course, if you’re matched with a Buddy still, you two can still continue helping each other!)

As for us, you may have noticed we’ve returned to making our usual mediocre, low-effort jokes. We’ll see you in the comments. 😊

Thank you, mid-Island. You’re good people ❤️

Links, in case you missed them:

• “No One Is An Island” colouring book: https://www.nanaimobulletin.com/…/nanaimo-satire-site-puts-…

• Virtual Nanaimo video series: http://nanaimobeacon-com.ibrave.host/virtual

• Beacon Buddies Community Implementation Kit: https://docs.google.com/…/1zXb-GMxdqFRkzCkT_gUUKevLFe…/edit…